Tag Archive: James Wan


Even if you didn’t have enough time to whet your appetite for another heaping helping of comic book films two weeks after Thor: Ragnarok, the Justice League is here to take our money every weekend until The Last Jedi hits theaters.

In case people want to read the byline and bow out because of possible spoilers, I think Justice League was good.  It was a B- or a C+.  Considering the production was messy because of director Zack Snyder’s daughter’s suicide, the finished product could have been the real disaster movie.  I am not clear exactly how much of Snyder’s vision made it to the screen, but Joss Whedon did one hell of a job with the hellish task of handling the combination of caretaking another director’s work, lightening the tone, and infusing some of his own style into the film through extensive reshoots under the circumstances.

The good outweighed the bad.  I don’t want to get into spoilers, so it only appears that it’s more bad than good.

Good

Gal Gadot – She continues to make anyone who said she’s the wrong type, physical or acting-wise, to look like idiots.  She is arresting in every scene she’s in.  I love how she bounces from coy as her alter-ego Diana to thoughtful leader and warrior as Wonder Woman.  I will say this: Wonder Woman will plummet as an interesting and marketable character if Gadot leaves.  If keeping her means Warner Brothers must throw Brett Ratner from a tall building, they’d better check with her three times to make sure the height of the fall is adequate.  She is that important right now to the DCEU.

Team Dynamics – This is where hiring Whedon is crucial.  Ignoring what he does badly temporarily, the one thing he’s done the most right in Avengers and Justice League is the team dynamics.  He nails taking these superhero loners and take them through the stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing.  The team has very good chemistry, and I bet we’ll see more team goodness when the extended cut arrives.

Aquaman – I think they gave us just enough to get us ultra-sweaty for James Wan’s film in December 2018.

Bad

The Opening – They should’ve started with Wonder Woman and cut the Batman stuff out.

The Score – With all the noise that was made about infusing Danny Elfman’s Batman ‘89 and John Williams’ Superman: the Movie scores into Justice League, I was sorely disappointed.  I wanted more.  It felt like pretty ordinary comic book music because of the dearth of the classics’ presence.

The Flash – I think I am in the minority because I liked Cyborg more than the Flash.  Naturally, the Flash will improve as a hero over a few films, but he was little more than the comic relief of Justice League.  If cuts were necessary, they could have removed at least three of his lamest jokes.  It grew tiresome.

Steppenwolf – He’s an awful one-note character.  It didn’t help that they couldn’t work in that he’s Darkseid’s stooge, and that he was trying to turn Earth into a re-creating of Darkseid’s planet, Apokolips.  I guess the Justice League had to beat somebody’s ass, but the best fights were their in-fighting.

Overall, I enjoyed the film.  I know I will like the extended cut more.  With all the turmoil that went into the production, the movie was a lot better than it should’ve been.  Like John Wick, the movie felt fast and action-packed.  Justice League did a lot less to improve the DCEU than Wonder Woman, but it did it’s job to keep me wanting more.

What is my plan for repeat viewing?  I have seen Justice League twice.  I saw the late opening Thursday night showing and the first Friday matinee.  I planned to see it Friday, but having a MoviePass made it irresistible to see it the night before because I left work early and it was the beginning of my long weekend.  I committed to taking my older daughter to see it as well in the first two weekends because of her love of superhero movies.  Wonder Woman is her favorite.  I will certainly buy a digital license for my Apple products on day one if there is an ultimate edition.  I hope that gives me the Zack Snyder version as well.  I will not buy that separately like the Richard Donner Superman II cut.

Thanks for reading!  Tell us what you thought about Justice League – @agentwinchestr and @lukaseggen

Also, keep an eye out.  Roy may show up on RezdTV with Steve and Steve to discuss the Justice League.  Check your local listings!

Advertisements

Thanks to “Annabelle: Creation,” the Conjuring franchise has passed $1 billion.

James Wan directed “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2,” which starred Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.

Wan also directed the first “Saw” film. That series will see a new installment, “Jigsaw” later this year.

“The Conjuring” universe continues to flex its muscle at the box office. “Annabelle: Creation” earned $4 million from its Thursday previews.

That’s almost double the $2.1 million “Annabelle” earned and is also higher than “The Conjuring” (James Wan, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) and “The Conjuring 2”.

Horror movies can be very front loaded, so it still may not reach the level of those first three films, but at this point, an opening above $30 million seems likely.

James Wan already had horror hits like “Saw” and “Insidious” on his hands. Now he can add “The Conjuring”, which earned more than $41 million. That’s more than twice its budget already! The other films like “RED 2”, “Turbo” and “R.I.P.D” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges ranged from OK to out right bomb.

With the limited access to computers I’ll be having over this week and next this will be an abbreviated version of the Box office battle.

This week, four films hit theaters. Will any break out?

“Turbo” features the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg and more. And it’s premise about a racing slug has the possibility of attracting the same kind of crowd that Pixar’s “Cars” brought in. But, it’s being released after “Monsters University” and “Despicable Me 2” and with the much more anticipated (ugh) “The Smurfs 2” still to come, one has to wonder if this will be the odd animated film left out. Still, it still should do better than say “Rise of the Guardians” but probably not by much.

Opening weekend: $30-35 million

James Wan is back with “The Conjuring”. The director of “Saw” and “Insidious” has Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga starring in this film, which is gaining a ton of buzz about how scary it is. It’s not opening in as many theaters as the other films, but this one could make a strong play for first place.

Opening weekend: $28-33 million

“RED 2” stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox and Neal McDonough. But the star power won’t help this film. The first film opened to $21 million on its way to $90 million domestically and nearly $200 million worldwide. I doubt it matches those numbers domestically as many view it as an unnecessary sequel to an OK first film, though it should open around the same level.

Opening weekend: $20-25 million

Finally we have “R.I.P.D.” The presence of Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds won’t help this film escape its “Men in Black” knockoff feel and, frankly, it looks like this summer’s “Jonah Hex”. Never a good thing.

Opening weekend: $10-15 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

So far this summer, “World War Z” has been my biggest positive surprise. Starring Brad Pitt, the film was shockingly fun. But there’s another film I think might be my biggest surprise. That would be “The Conjuring” starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. From James Wan, the director of “Saw” and “Insidious” the film is being called one of the scariest in decades and got an R rating not because of blood or gore…but for just being too scary. Word is New Line is already looking at developing a sequel. Horror sequels are a tough sell, but if the first one is as good as people are saying, I’d be up for it.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Vin Diesel already starred in “Fast and Furious 6” and is returning to the world of Riddick with “Riddick”. But could he also join the Marvel film universe? Diesel tweeted that he was taking a meeting with Marvel, but didn’t know what for. Now before “The Avengers” came out from Joss Whedon, there were rumors that Diesel would play Vision. Then there were rumors he’d play Vision in Edgar Wright’s “Ant-Man”. But, and this might be wishful thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if he played Kingpin in a DareDevil remake?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

This seems a bit quick, but “Fast and Furious 6” directed by Justin Lin is seeing its sequel, “Fast and Furious 7” from James Wan being released next year. Reports are that Warner Brothers wants a “Man of Steel” sequel, which has earned $125.1 million already, to come out in 2014 with a “Justice League” film to follow in 2015. It makes a little bit of sense because WB has slated a 2015 release for a JLA film for a while now. But that’s not much time for Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer to prep a script and get everything done in time.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas2gmail.com.

It’s been rumored for a while now. But we know that “Fast and Furious 7” is having a big name join the cast for the supposed finale. Michelle Rodriguez confirmed that Jason Statham will be in “Fast and Furious 7”. I can’t wait! Hopefully James Wan can keep up the momentum.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

“Fast Five” starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and more was one of 2011’s surprise hits. “Fast and Furious 6” promises to push the envelope even further. Justin Lin, however, stepped down as director for “Fast and Furious 7”. Now producer Neal Moritz talked about new director James Wan, who fans will know as the helmer of “Saw” and “Insidious”.

“(He’s) a terrific, terrific director at the top, top of his genre.  He’s done everything you could do in the genre he’s been working in, and as he said to me the other day, everything he has trained himself within that genre has been so he could take the next step up into something like Fast & Furious… I’ve always been a fan of his, he’s one of the people that we initially had on our list as a possible replacement, but I can just tell you when he came in and told us what his vision was, when he left the room we all looked at each other and said ‘That’s our director,” Moitz said.

Moritz also confirmed that Johnson will be in the seventh film. No word on whether that Jason Statham rumor is true, though.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.